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Hawaii Gov. Josh Green (D) promised to make "no excuses" for the devastation that Maui suffered from wildfires on Sunday in the same interview in which he blamed climate change.
In a news report that aired on CBS' "Face the Nation," Green appeared to blame the Maui wildfires, at least in part, on "global warming." Anchor Margaret Brennan then sought to clarify whether that meant Green believed climate change played a role in the level of devastation on Maui.
"Just to be clear, when you're talking about global warming, are you saying that climate change amplified the cost of human error?" Brennan asked.
"Yes, it did," Green responded. "There's always going to be incredible things that people do to save lives, from the firefighters, from citizens. And there's always going to be decisions that are made that I'm sure aren't perfect in the moment."
The Democratic governor then began to hedge. He suggested the wildfires were unmanageable because of climate change, pointing out the fire that destroyed Lahaina "moved more than a mile a minute" driven by powerful winds from Hurricane Dora that "just destroyed everything."
And yet, Green somehow managed say that he is making no excuses for what happened.
"So, there's no excuses to ever be made, but there are finite resources sometimes in the moment," he said.
Earlier in the interview, Green had declared, "Climate change is here. We are in the midst of it with a hotter planet and fiercer storms."
Hawaii Gov. Josh Green says "I wish all the sirens went off" on Maui during wildfireswww.youtube.com
Hawaii officials are facing intense criticism for actions — or the lack thereof — taken before and during the wildfires
For instance, Herman Andaya, the now-former administrator of the Maui Emergency Management Agency, failed to sound the siren warning system during the fires, a decision he vowed not to regret. The deputy director of Hawaii's Commission on Water Resource Management, meanwhile, was reportedly reassigned over allegations that he delayed Maui firefighters' access to more water after previously expressing concern over water "equity."
Additionally, Hawaiian Electric is facing the prospect of a massive lawsuit after the wildfires, which could send the utility company into bankruptcy. Data and video suggest the wildfires were initially caused by power lines knocked down by fierce winds. As TheBlaze reported, Hawaiian Electric has been accused of prioritizing renewable energy over the maintenance of its power lines.
Yes, wildfires are unpredictable and fast-moving. But the National Weather Service had warnedtwo days before the fires broke out that atmospheric conditions — driven by a high pressure system to the north of the islands and a strong low-pressure cyclone in Hurricane Dora to the south — were ripe for creating "serious fire" threats, and the organization issued a red flag warning.
The warnings were there. Sounds more like "human error" than climate change.
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Chris Enloe is a staff writer for Blaze News